Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

Post by sturgis » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:45 am

Hey! My blindness has lifted! I'd make one small additional recommendation. I've just not been seeing that message, entirely my fault. I have been clicking on the "3rd party" on the left which shows 2 products right now. WOuld it be difficult to add a similar note to that page too? Or a "legacy product list" link on the left in the navigation bar, so that blind people like me can find it easier, plus it would have the benefit of following people around as they navigate on the chance they miss the note on that one page.

Thanks heather, my apologies for my blindness and thanks for the help as always!

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

Post by tchamberlain » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:28 pm

If I am getting this right, anyone on monthly already subscribed will get their price raised? I get raising the price for all new subscriptions after July 24th, but to tell everyone they must buy annual or suffer the new price is a good way to lose customers. Did you guys really think this through, not an insult but it seems not too customer friendly they way this is being handled.

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

Post by MikeinHawaii » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:52 pm

Once I went to a Pink Floyd concert and the ticket cost me $4.50 US. That was in 1972. Just sayin.......... 8)

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

Post by richmond62 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:23 pm

floor.jpg
This one is priceless!
floor.jpg (23.85 KiB) Viewed 2685 times

tchamberlain
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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

Post by tchamberlain » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:26 pm

Did they make you buy two years of tickets in advance to get that price, just saying :)

MikeinHawaii wrote:Once I went to a Pink Floyd concert and the ticket cost me $4.50 US. That was in 1972. Just sayin.......... 8)

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

Post by Dixie » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:33 pm

Once I went to a Pink Floyd concert and the ticket cost me $4.50 US. That was in 1972. Just sayin.......... 8)
Saw the Eagles in London... mmm... early '73, didn't have a clue who they were... they were excellent !... got in for free..:-) Just sayin'

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

Post by SimuG » Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:04 pm

I can see the reason behind the price increase, but I am struggling with the "rental" element of it. A bit of background.... I am an Architect, as such I am used to "buying" and "owning" my software. Yes every year the software is updated, and every year it gets better, offering me the ability to upgrade for a reasonable fee. Every time an upgrade appears I balance the cost against the possible benefits in both time saved and productivity increased.

Architectural software comes in many flavours, for example I use:

ArchiCAD 19 (Initial purchase price ~€4000 (ArchiCAD 15), annual upgrade ~€1000)
  • With every upgrade it gets speed improvements, more tools and stability.
    The upgrade cost is genuinely offset against time saved doing tasks.
    I have no problem upgrading each year due to the above.
    If I decide not to upgrade, the software still functions, with no impediments.
    ArchiCAD normally only release ONE free patch per annual release. Then unless there is something major, the release is "abandoned" in favour of next years release. This is very fair.
    There is no FREE version of ArchiCAD, it is a professional tool and priced as such.
FormZ Pro 8 (Initial purchase price $900, upgrades free until next major release, upgrade price for FormZ 8.5 when available = ~50% of RRP)
  • Incremental upgrades generally fix bugs etc.
    Major upgrades (i.e. from FormZ 8 to FormZ 8.5) offer new tools and features.
    Upgrading is optional, when a new release is available, the old one is generally supported for major bugs only. You still own a working copy of the previous version.
    Again, I own the software, upgrading is my choice, but the new tool set is usually enough to justify a purchase.
    It should be noted that additional feature plugins are available, such as rendering are an optional purchase, I bought RenderZone for an additional $340 for example. This allows photo quality renders.
    Without the plugins FormZ is perfectly usable.
    Form Z Jnr was launched this year and is free, it has all but the advanced modelling tools available, they have increased their user base exponentially once they did this. This will no doubt lead to Pro licence sales.
SketchUP Pro (Initial purchase price (SketchUp 5? €500, generally an upgrade every year ~€200 per upgrade)
  • Some incremental upgrades per release, usually bug fixes.
    Major upgrades offer new tools, features and speed improvements.
    I moved from SketchUP to FormZ because of its "grown up" tool set.
    SketchUp has a free version, and is used by millions of people. I mean millions of people. I does not have Pro features, such as printing layouts, styles of boolean modelling. It is perfectly good for modelling ANYTHING with non organic shapes.
You can see the pattern here. People want to own their software, not rent it. Thats my opinion.

It might sound strange, but I am having a hard time convincing myself to go ahead with LiveCode simply because I know I have $499 this year, but will I have it next year? If I don't have it next year any "Pro" level work I have done will be locked out, I know I can still work on it in the community version, but can I guarantee that the tool I was relying on will be available in the community version? This is in my opinion a bizarre situation.

I don't know what the monthly burn rate is for LiveCode, I would be interested in seeing their Business Plan, but will a loosely projected injection of license fees overcome the reality of long term loss of customers, existing and potential? Can LiveCode demonstrate a comparable business model for comparable tools? I have yet to find one, other than this "web based" solutions that most sensible people avoid like the plague.

I don't know, LiveCode looks great, but the licence terms are really bothering me. It would be nice to hear Kevin Millers point of view.

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

Post by FourthWorld » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:05 pm

Richard Gaskin
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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

Post by Lagi Pittas » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:57 pm

Hi

Sorry Richard - That doesn't answer the gnawing question about going back to community I have bought plugins that only work in commercial that would mean all of my stuff will stop working.
I have purchased the 2 year special but i'm still p**sed not to put too fine a point on it.

Seems nobody other than you is taking an active interest in this thread - two posts from LC Towers.

MY point still stands if you don't fix something in time, and additions are just bells and no whistles why should i purchase the next version?

Please just answer the question Kevin, Heather - anybody.

Oh and if as I have been told it's very busy in sales at the moment - what happens in 2 years time? - I'm probably talking to myself and .... "Time for bed says Zebedee" Boing!!

Nighy Night all

p.s.

I hope the new website is not a damp squib after all this time, and all the suggestions.

Gorgonzola

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

Post by FourthWorld » Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:30 pm

Lagi Pittas wrote:I have bought plugins that only work in commercial that would mean all of my stuff will stop working.
What did the authors of those components say when you asked them if could deliver a version of their plugin that's compatible with LiveCode Community Edition?
Richard Gaskin
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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

Post by sefrojones » Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:34 am

FourthWorld wrote: What did the authors of those components say when you asked them if could deliver a version of their plugin that's compatible with LiveCode Community Edition?
This is ignoring the question entirely. It seems that a major sticking point with more than a few users who have commented in this thread is this : There is no way to own LiveCode anymore, at best it can only be rented. I understand that you have a lifetime license and as such, these changes don't effect you, but most of us do not have that luxury.

--sefro

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

Post by richmond62 » Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:06 pm

This makes me think of Windows XP licences.

I own LC 4.5 . . . and I do still use it for legacy stuff.

Why RunRev needs to rent rather than sell I don't understand, unless they are worried (!!!!!)
that people, having shelled out for one version may then not keep stumping up money for
upgrades every 3 months (for instance).

This IS an obvious ploy to keep the revenue stream flowing: there don't need to be any fancy justifications
from RunRev; after all, it is not a sin to want to keep making money!

However; if each upgrade that people were required to pay for, were a "quantum leap" from the previous version
then people who needed the latest thing would keep paying for new versions whether renting or owning previous ones.

There was a time, wayback, when RunRev released upgrades/updates about once every 6 months, and people paid for them.

Now RunRev release upgrades/updates as frequently as twice a week, and these are incremental updates rather than "quantum leaps"
so the psychological effect on customers is diminished.

Of course another factor that has to be considered is customer relations; something at which RunRev have never seemed terribly good.

This is not just about being 'open' because part of LiveCode is now Open Source (something that still needs quite a bit of work), but
about giving the impression that the company cares about its customer base (whether it actually does or not).

RunRev have been very free bandying around the word "Community", appointing RG as a "community liason officer" (or somesuch),
but haven't really given the impression beyond a few "outbursts" that they actually believe in a community rather than getting a load of
groupies on board to "lick their kneecaps".

So: 2 sides of one problem really; which has been, as far as I can see, a long-term malaise which might just be why LiveCode
is NOT smashing XOJO, VisualBASIC and so on.

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

Post by AndyP » Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:52 pm

I'm amazed and concerned that LiveCode have not been more vocal on this thread. There are obviously more than a few disgruntled customers out there voicing real concerns.

I am really trying to keep a positive stance. I really, really like the LiveCode product, the coding environment, and the language, but... I feel that the way LiveCode handle their customers is poor. It is us after all who provide the main revenue stream for LiveCode. When the email arrived stating that the Indy subscription was to rise from 299 to 499 my first reaction was this must be a mistake! Surely no company would impose such a large increase on its customers? Ok so they made the lock-in offer if you were willing to commit by July 27. On the website there is no mention that the cost will be increasing, so how is a new customer going to feel when in a few days they find out that next year (if it hasn't changed again) that they will be expected to part with 499?

l for one have nether liked or understood the reason that the product reverts to the Community version if you do not renew for another year. This model is good for the monthly subscriptions but not for the yearly purchaser.

For me if I were a new potential user of LiveCode and saw the 499 cost and the way the product reverts to Community after the year, I can say that I would look elsewhere.

I'm not feeling good about having to make these comments, but I see these as important issues that need to be voiced.
Andy Piddock

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

Post by sefrojones » Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:14 pm

AndyP wrote: l for one have nether liked or understood the reason that the product reverts to the Community version if you do not renew for another year.
On Ubuntu it doesn't even revert. It tells you "Your current LiveCode account does not allow you to run LiveCode Commercial. To continue running, please update your subscriptions" So telling people that it "reverts back to community" is not really the case. You must download the community version and uninstall the old commercial versions. I discovered that this week when i let my license expire.

--sefro

Edit: I also don't think it's right to remove access to learning materials that have been paid for. For example - the LiveCode academies were included in THREE separate bundles that I have purchased, yet as soon as my current license lapsed, they were removed from my account. I was under the impression that they would remain in my account as I had paid for them several times over, but I guess not.

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

Post by FourthWorld » Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:47 pm

sefrojones wrote:
FourthWorld wrote: What did the authors of those components say when you asked them if could deliver a version of their plugin that's compatible with LiveCode Community Edition?
This is ignoring the question entirely.
Very much the opposite: I believe the question has merit in a community with a long familiarity with proprietary-only licensing now slowly coming to appreciate the implications of having an open source option as well. I'm trying to address it as directly as possible by distinguishing it from the many other concerns that have cropped up in this thread.

This thread has become rather sprawling, with different people describing various concerns, so it's easy to see how the many very different issues at play here become overlapped.

When you wrote:
sefrojones wrote:
kevinmiller wrote: Or you can choose to buy a commercial version from us with a commercial widget.
This makes much more sense. If the new functionality is based around commercial widgets, then this seems like a very fair way to differentiate between the versions and add value for your business customers, while still maintaining a powerful open-source platform for the rest of the community. I apologize for the sensationalist nature of the original post here, it was a knee-jerk reaction to the idea that "features" were beginning to be left out of the open-source version. :oops: You have put my fears to rest.

--Sefro
...I took that to mean that you felt the concerns that prompted you to start this thread were well addressed.

Hopefully all of the different issues that have come up here since can also be worked through to the same level of satisfaction.

I believe we can address this specific question most directly by focusing squarely on the issue as expressed: a dual-licensed product in which some third-party vendors make single-licensed add-ons.

The concern you expressed here is related but different:
It seems that a major sticking point with more than a few users who have commented in this thread is this : There is no way to own LiveCode anymore, at best it can only be rented.
Let me see if I can convey my own thoughts on how the two tie together:

This thread began with concerns specific to a recent email from Kevin, but the subscription model isn't new. It's been in place for years, ever since the Community Edition premiered.

I would assume that co-occurence is no accident, as it is the Community Edition that makes LiveCode's adoption of the growing trend across the industry toward a subscription model very different from most others, much more user-friendly.

Even the price change isn't all that new for most of us: $499 is the price it was before last year's experiment with a lower monthly option, and the price I paid for annual renewals back in the late '90s when I got started with this engine, after paying an initial licensing fee of $995. It may seem new to those who've been taking advantage of their frequent promotional pricing, such as the one they're currently offering.

Like Adobe, Xojo, Asymetrix, and other dev tool vendors, LiveCode has experimented with many different pricing models over the years, and as with each of those vendors some have been more well recieved than others.

I would love to live in a world in which features and quality only increase while pricing only decreases, but as Kevin said that doesn't reflect the world we live in.

LiveCode is very expensive to produce. With a rich feature set enjoyed across seven platforms, it's far more expensive to make than most consumer software. But being a developer tool, the total addressable market is a slender fraction of what most consumer software can aim for. This is an inherent challenge for all makers of developer tools.

Those of us who rely on their technology for our businesses want them to remain viable so we can continue to realize value from their work. So while we may not prefer a given change to their pricing, as long as it can be covered by our business revenue it's at least acceptable.

Kevin didn't invent subscription models for software; if anything he's a late adopter. Not only have industry leaders like Adobe made this change long ago, but some of LiveCode's own customers use subscription models for the works they produce with LiveCode. Whether we prefer them or not, these models have a well demonstrated history of making revenue streams more predictable in a way that benefits planning.

As common as subscription models have become, LiveCode goes further in offering something few others do: a Community Edition, freely available all the way down to the source, generously offered to all 7 billion people on the planet at no cost, and under a license that explicitly guarantees everyone the freedom to modify it in anyway they like and share those modifications with everyone.

With most subscription software, when your subscription ends you lose access to your own work.

With LiveCode, when your subscription ends your work lives forever under a Community Edition where even the engine's source is publicly available to all. As long as compilers exist it can never die.

True, if you want to run a business specifically distributing proprietary software, you'll need a proprietary license for that. But anyone starting a business will very quickly discover that having 90% of their code written for $499 a year is among the smallest expenses on their balance sheet, and often the one that delivers the highest ROI.

Most business owners had been renewing annually anyway to take advantage of newer engines for their own products, so for the majority of Commercial licensees there's been no practical change at all.

I must admit a difficulty in understanding the reluctance to embrace the Community Edition as the powerful option it is. In my apparently limited thinking, to me the bottom line seems quite clearly the bottom line: anyone who truly needs a Commercial license should find it an affordable business expense, and anyone who doesn't have a business that can produce at least $499 a year probably doesn't need a Commercial license.

There are many ways to monetize software, even more when aiming as low as <$499. And there's tremendous value in contributing to the world's knowledge through free and open software.

All this leaves us with the relatatively slender edge case Lagi Pittas raised: the developer who has chosen to invest in proprietary third-party add-ons, but may want to use LiveCode Community Edition and finds that some of those third-party vendors don't have a dual-license strategy in place.

That's a business decision, for each side, customer and vendor. As buyers we can choose proprietary-only add-ons when they fully address our needs, or we can choose dual-licensed add-ons when they may be a better fit, or we can write our own.

These sorts of business decisions aren't unique to LiveCode, and as the role of FOSS continues to grow ever larger across our industry they'll become increasingly common.

It definitely merits discussion, and I hope some of the folks with aspirations of making profitable add-ons may chime in here, as their views lie at the heart of Lagi Pittas' question.

I understand that you have a lifetime license and as such, these changes don't effect you, but most of us do not have that luxury.
Respectfully, Sefro, the implied classism there is inapproriate; presumption is best avoided. I find most people have far more in common than they have differences; let's let our common interests bring us together, and leave imagined differences at the door.

My LiveCode license is not a luxury. It is a business investment.

Money doesn't fall from any tree in my neighborhood; I work for it like most others I know, and I spend it with the same reasonable prudence needed to stay in business for a couple decades.

LiveCode is like computers, office rent, or any other business expense, evaluated in terms of the ROI it will deliver. For my business needs, having so much of my code written for me by people with a much higher IQ than mine for less than a day's cost of a single engineer's time is an easy evaluation to make.

But that's because I'm running a business.

If someone enjoys LiveCode and isn't running a business based around distribution of proprietary software, they very literally have no business requiring a Commercial license.

And if they are running a business, $499/yr is a shockingly low-cost way to be able to leverage 800,000 lines of high-quality code.


Back to Lagi Pittas' concern:

It may be worth noting that the GPL is a distribution license, and Kevin has explicitly reminded us that proprietary IDE plugins can indeed be used with the Community Edition.

Peter Haworth asked about this on the use-livecode list, and his own tools are made with the Commercial Edition which grants him the right to choose other licensing terms than GPL when distributing his plugins, even if the recipient is using them within the GPL-governed Community Edition.

Given that script encryption is available in Commercial only, this means such plugins will be source-available, if not open source per se. But frankly, source-available is the minimum I need anyway for any code I rely on from others, since inevitably I'll need to modify it from time to time.

Mats Wilstrand has gone even further, deploying his rTree and other plugins fully dual-licensed. I believe other developers offer dual-licensed plugins as well. I have some GPL-governed plugins in the works myself.

Unlike other communities that have a healthy third-party ecosystem, like Drupal and Wordpress, ours has relatively little experience with the value of open source.

With those two projects, things are a bit simpler in one regard: neither offers a proprietary option, so all themes, plugins, and other add-ons must be GPL to comply with the copyright requirements.

Being dual-licensed gives third-party developers making add-ons for LiveCode more options. Anyone using the GPL-governed Community Edition can distribute under GPL only, but those using Commercial can choose from a wide range of license options for their IDE plugins.

Distributable libraries are another matter, since distribution is when the GPL comes into play.

But given the difficult business case for attempting profitable plugins for any dev tool (I know it well; that's how I started my company), it may be that dual-licensing will be seen as a good fit for a growing number of add-ons over time.

I look forward to comments from third-party plugin authors on this.
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